LA Council Votes to Repeal Medical Marijuana Shop Ban

Activists gathered Tuesday on the steps of City Hall to support a repeal of the ban approved in July

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012  |  Updated 1:24 PM PDT
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LA Council Votes to Repeal Medical Marijuana Shop Ban

Activists protest on the steps of City Hall Tuesday before the council's scheduled vote on a repeal of its ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to repeal its controversial measure that imposed a ban on medical marijuana shops.

The 11-1 vote in support of a repeal followed last week's preliminary vote in favor of overturning the ban, which would have prohibited storefront pot shops but allowed collectives of three or fewer patients to grow their own pot. The measure approved in July also had an exception for licensed caregivers.

The vote Tuesday required at least eight "Ayes" to make the repeal official. Councilmember Joe Buscaino issued the lone "No" vote, according to the City Clerk's office.

The repeal was approved without council discussion.

The decision comes nearly a month after the LA City Clerk certified a petition submitted by the Committee to Protect Patients and Neighborhoods for a referendum on the issue. Activists gathered on the steps of City Hall Tuesday morning in support of the repeal.

The council had the option of voting to place the referendum on the ballot or repeal the ban.

At last week's meeting, council members said they needed help from Sacramento lawmakers to clarify state law regulating the sale of medical marijuana. The council also approved a resolution that calls on state lawmakers "to address the inadequacies of state law."

In September, the U.S. Department of Justice sent warning letters notifying nearly 70 marijuana dispensaries that they were in violation of state and federal law. The letters warned of a crackdown on "an explosion of commercial marijuana stores" driven by "massive profits."
 

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